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HindustanTimes Fri,19 Sep 2014

Cricket

Sri Lanka's victory keeps all three teams in fray
PTI
Port of Spain, July 09, 2013
First Published: 11:19 IST(9/7/2013)
Last Updated: 11:39 IST(9/7/2013)

Sri Lanka kept themselves in contention for a berth in the final of the tri-nation ODI series with a comfortable 39-run victory over West Indies in a rain-hit game Port of Spain, a result which has thrown the tournament wide open with all three teams in fray for the title clash.

Sri Lanka notched up 219 for eight in 41 overs, riding on Kumar Sangakkara's 95-ball 90 and then restricted the hosts to 190 for nine to record victory under Duckworth Lewis method after the match was stretched to reserve day due to rain interruptions.

Kemar Roach (4/27) returned an economical four-wicket haul but other West Indies bowlers could not stop the run flow as Sri Lanka scored 159 in 22 overs after struggling at 60 for three in 19 overs on Sunday.

Angelo Mathews was another notable performer for the winners as he scored crucial 30 runs and then took four wickets for just 29 runs to play a crucial part in win.

The win has catapulted Sri Lanka to top of the points table with nine points with the best (+1.019) net-run-rate (NRR) among the three teams. West Indies (-0.383) also have nine points but are placed second due to inferior NRR. India are last on the table with five points and worst (-0.524) NRR.

Sri Lanka's victory has left India with no option but to win Tuesday's match against the South Asian neighbours to qualify for the final. According to statisticians, all India need to do is to win by one run off the last ball.

In such a scenario, India and Sri Lanka will qualify for the final on the basis of NRR.

Sangakkara played a superb 95-ball unconquered innings, which was studded with six fours and one six, to help Sri Lanka post 219 for eight in the match.

West Indies were set a revised target of 230 in 41 overs but their chase was derailed by the early top-order collapse which left them at 31 for four in 8.2 overs.

Shaminda Eranga and Lasith Malinga picked up three and two wickets respectively to contribute in Sri Lanka's win though West Indies did well to deny them a bonus point at least.


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